*Chasing Sweetness … and Letting it Catch Me

The last post was a tough one. There is a fine line between balancing mom’s dignity, and keeping it real. I struggled with not wanting to burden you all with some of the more nightmarish aspects of the journey, or to sugar coat anything. One of my gifted readers became my teacher this week, when she picked up on the struggle and offered a private response that kind of threw me for a minute, then created a huge gift of an insight in the process of looking at her suggestion to, (and I am paraphrasing) lose my inhibition and strip my humanity down to raw emotion.

In considering her observation, that ‘this is not a novel I imagined but my real life’, I was called again to consider what is most true for me. So, please bare with me as I indulge a current obsession with discovering the individual elements that construct the flavor profiles of things both delicious and not. Or in the language of that once great oracle, Common Core, ‘Digging for Strengths’.

A couple of nights ago, an hour or so after a great dinner I was craving something sweet. I wasn’t hungry, thirsty, tired, if anything I was at peace. I had managed to; contribute 5k to my team for the C2 virtual challenge, enjoy a great Pilates class, the fire was neither too hot or cold, the kitchen was clean and mom, who had been bleeding most of the day, seemed relatively comfortable. I took a moment to breathe. I checked in to see if there was an exact fix, like one spoonful of mom’s ice cream, one caramel, or the mango I was saving for after rowing the next day. Realizing that it had nothing to do with a concrete desire got my attention. Well HELLO, Sherlock to Holmes … there it was – the voice was like wwww-ell I am missing my ‘sweetie’ a bit … (OK, tell me you have never caught yourself being that obvious).

Thats when thoughts began to flow, as quickly as simple syrup. Where does sweetness reside? How do I access sweet? When do I most notice it’s presence? It used to be in the cuddles, kisses, and joy from my, and I have always called her this but never noticed it before – sweet Molly girl. Yet, that delicious flavor has been replaced by one that is far complex, more like searching for a morsel of chocolate in a scantily clad  cookie. Yet, in truth, the essence of her spirit is still present beneath her disguise of molting fur, weepy eyes, and signs of dementia.

After lengthy consideration here is  a partial list, and I hope you will all help me remember to look for sweet in less obvious things. For example, have you ever noticed the sweetness in steamed green cabbage with a tiny pat of butter???? Ok, a little too…but seriously see if you can find it.

I find sweetness in my mom napping comfortably in her chair covered in the ever-present blanket that was a gift from Shawna, Molly watching me eat, the glow of the fire on the livingroom floor, the smoothness of pilates clothes, a perfect erg stroke, a cuddle with my buddies Tyler or Thunder, the mischief in Owen’s sparkly eyes, hiking amidst the trees with Hailey and Erin, lying against the chest of the home I love, a phone call from work spoken in a hushed conspiratorial tone, spending time in the car with Patrick and Tim, a recipe that works,  talking with brilliant potential filled up and coming visionaries like Kyrie’, mom enjoying a meal, (a bunch of stuff I can’t list without this post requiring parental advisories), and most of all when I come in from the cold, grumpy or sore, only to find that, the warmth I left behind is still here. Really, the list is pretty much endless when I take the time to notice.

So please, whatever you do dear readers, do not think this is ‘just a sad story with big words’, (even though by times it contains a sadness I find difficult to tolerate), but rather a calling to accept the heroe’s journey that is before us all. Or if you must, take the time to explore beneath the top-note taste of your own sadness for whatever drop of sweetness you may find. My hope for each one of us, is that we all find the authentic miraculous flavors of our hearts highest calling, that is our birthright and  joy.

*Shout outs to CF of Purpose 7, without whom this post would not be possible. Thanks for causing me to reach deeper, and come up a little higher.


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10 Responses to *Chasing Sweetness … and Letting it Catch Me

  1. steve mackenzie says:

    Yes! Your breaking free of the part of yourself that inhibits you. Greatness sure to follow once the inhibitors are only your inner advisor. Xo

    • tee hee. ain’t life grand? Thanks for taking the time to comment. I think I saw Kathy walking last Saturday morning but was two blocks along before it dawned on me. Tell her I sent my regards. Hope all is well with you both.

  2. Amy Lapetina says:

    Thank you, Beth, for reminding me to treasure the sweet morsels which seem to be harder to find these days. You are definitely one of them. xxxxxx

  3. Robert Vanderwaall says:

    Beth, I have witnessed those moments with more frequency now as I get older but they appear and disappear too quickly for me to savor or find meaning to the moment. Thanks for putting a name to these “drops of sweetness” as you call them. That is how I will look at them from now on. Good job, again.

    • As a child, I always loved a good scavenger hunt. Remember how exciting it was when you found the item on the list, checked it off, and raced ahead to find another one (especially if it had been a frustrating search)? Maybe we need some of our child selves again at this point so that we remember that excitement?

      I am honored that you have found something of value to consider for yourself. Blessings to you.

  4. Robert Vanderwaall says:

    Yes, thanks for bringing a fond memory to the forefront. Leaving Holland for America in May 1961 on the Dutch oceanliner Maas Dam we did just that. Something I shared with my 3 brothers and sister and learning a little English along the way to prepare us for life in the USA.

    • wow that must have been exciting AND terrifying. Did you land in New York??? I can only imagine what it would be like to see land at the end of the trip. Hope you didn’t get too sea sick. lol

  5. Robert Vanderwaall says:

    We were kids and the entire trip was exciting. For sea sickness, we each received a waxed lined paper bag and a large green pickle. Brother Jerry was sick most of the time but I could’t wait to help the sailors clear the deck each morning of flying sardines. Place them in wooden buckets and feed them to the dolphins below. I saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time from a porthole below deck. Took a train from New York to Boston and a final drive to Natick.

    But today, I wanted to let you know about one of those “drops of sweetness” you wrote about. I was singing and playing guitar today at an Assisted Living Center when an old lady in a wheelchair pulled up behind me and tugged on my sleeve. When I bent down to ask her how she is doing she said, “I just wanted to say, I love you”. After a hug she rolled on and I continued singing. A drop of sweetness for sure. I wonder if I would have recognized it as that had I not read your post. Thanks. keep it up.

  6. I could totally picture you and the flying sardines! What a great tidbit of your story. As for you drop of sweetness, WOW. I am honored to be included in the sharing of your blessing. Some days I worry that I am just boring the pants of folks gazing endlessly at the fluff in my navel. At other times I think surely there must be kindred spirits who can relate and find meaning in the synchronicities of daily living. You made my day.

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